I need help writing a Proposition

I decided I must act now but do not know how. Can Someone Help me? Can someone point me to where I could get help?

Studies show better educational achievement in a population reduces crime, so investing in public schools - particularly schools serving "at risk" populations - is a form of crime prevention. Therefore a very effective use of assets seized by Law Enforcement is to turn over 50% to public schools to boost educational achievement in "at risk" communities. I think a state proposition to this effect would be worthwhile.

My idea is noble, I feel: use money taken from crooks to better our schools - what is a tiny amount of cash to cops and robbers can be huge to an educator.

However, I am no lawyer and my writings are politically naive so I am looking for help in writing (or help learning to write) a proposition that stands a chance of winning in the ballot box - or at least something that could change the debates on education and on crime here, in California.

Please comment or send me a private message if you have any advice.

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contact a law school, see if they have any recommendations for pro bono counsel, or any student interns working towards that type of career.
Best of luck, and it is a great idea.

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13 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@on the cusp

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2 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

The usa government only exists to govern the military

Lookout's picture

...but y'all have citizen ballot initiatives
https://oag.ca.gov/initiatives

I'm a retired teacher and I would recommend contacting your local teachers union/group about your ideas. The teacher led movements have been very effective in the last couple of years.

My general thought is fight privatization and promote teacher driven reform and community based school management. No one knows better how to improve schools than teachers but they are never consulted.

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

edg's picture

Seizure of assets by police agencies is rightfully under attack. The process of civil asset forfeiture has been outrageously abused and was recently ruled on by the Supreme Court. Hopefully, this evil practice will soon be ended altogether. Adding schools to the list of beneficiaries of the funding reduces the egregiousness not one whit.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that state and local governments are not exempt from the Constitutional prohibition against imposing “excessive fines” on citizens, significantly constraining the ability of law enforcement to seize the property of criminal suspects.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for eight of the nine justices, argued that state and local governments unconstrained by the Eighth Amendment’s excessive-fines clause are likely to abuse their power.

“Increasingly, our justice system has come to rely on fines, fees, and forfeitures to fund law-enforcement agencies rather than having to answer to elected officials for their budgets,” Scott Bullock, the president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, said in a Wednesday statement. “This is not just an ominous trend; it is a dangerous one. We are grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court established that the U.S. Constitution secures meaningful protections for private property and limits the government’s ability to turn law enforcement into revenue generators.”

Reference: SCOTUS Cracks Down on Civil Asset Forfeiture

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16 users have voted.

@edg @edg It is one thing to seize cash at a meth house, but taking cars, planes, bank accounts...good grief.
Attorneys representing people who are accused of dealing drugs, running a chop shop, etc...have had their attorney's fees confiscated, as fruit of the poisonous tree.

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16 users have voted.

@on the cusp

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8 users have voted.

@The Voice In the Wilderness Making to very hard to take on a retainer when it is "the wrong kind of client".
Innocent until proven guilty is for the elite.

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12 users have voted.

@edg
I agree that it is an evil.
One side effect of diverting 1/2 of all seized assets is reducing the profitability of that governmental excess. It will take years for Americans to push back and insist upon their rights ... so in the meantime, why not help out at risk students?

Maybe if getting them some more funding helps improve graduation rates, lower crime and improve inner city economies people will want to continue funding these schools. The current method of having local property taxes fund school districts keeps them in poverty.

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4 users have voted.

Not Sure I Can Take Much More

dkmich's picture

Legalize and tax, use the revenue to fund schools. Much cleaner. Release all drug offenders from prisons and jails, save a mint, use the savings to fund schools. There is no reason except greedy bastards for why our schools shouldn't be abundantly funded PreK - 16 and everyone shouldn't have health care.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

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$38b surplus, including the billions in its "rainy-day reserve" fund. Gov Newsome announced a few days ago he would be putting an additional $1b towards alleviating the homelessness situation in the state -- apparently getting very bad in his home town of S.F.

He also announced CA public schools would be getting a record amount this year for funding. Perhaps an effort could be made to encourage spending a few additional billions more on upping teacher salaries to encourage better teachers in the schools, particularly to incentivize teaching in low-income areas.

The proposed proposition seems well-intended, but I am concerned a side-effect would be to normalize, legitimize, and increase asset forfeiture, possibly resulting in new laws rolling back current protections against forfeiture abuse. It would after all be for a noble cause of helping the schools and the poor.

Let's spend some of this record-high state surplus instead. And also consider using some of that huge amount to create a mini-UBI program which could put needed extra money into the pockets of those most in need, making their lives a little more livable and stressful, making it possible to create a better environment at home that is more conducive to education and learning.

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5 users have voted.

I appreciate the helpful comments and the encouragement. I will be contacting some local law schools, my city rep and I'm checking out those websites.

For those who expressed concerned about the evils of asset seizure in its current incarnation, I would urge you to put your energy into changing that. I agree with you and I will support your efforts. Until we succeed in getting Law Enforcement to honor our constitutional rights, we might as well see that low income schools benefit. Maybe having to share their 'plunder' might be a disincentive for them to cavalierly seize private possessions.

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3 users have voted.

Not Sure I Can Take Much More

edg's picture

@Sonny Boy

If alternative funding for schools is arranged, local and state taxes are typically cut by the equivalent amount. If you need proof, study what has happened with all the money supposedly generated for schools by selling lottery tickets. Here's an article about it: Does Powerball really fund education?

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6 users have voted.